How To Find The Best Free Movies And Music On The Web

Despite Apple originally referring to the Apple TV as a 'hobby', that all changed with the introduction of the fourth-gen Apple TV, followed by the Apple TV 4K in 2017. Why? It features tvOS, an operating system that brings a whole new dimension to Apple TV.

Essentially, tvOS offers access to Siri and the App Store on your Apple TV. Siri can be used in a similar way to how it’s used on the iPhone, and can be asked a variety of things from what the weather is like to the status of your football team's match.

However, it also comes with features unique to the Apple TV, including the ability to search not only iTunes but Netflix for movies and being able to say “What did he say?” to get Siri to rewind the film by 15 seconds and temporarily enable subtitles.

The Apple TV App Store was a huge addition to the Apple TV, and looks to take the Apple TV from a ‘hobby’ to a killer product with a range of amazing Apple TV games and apps. It’s even better news for us in the UK, as Apple never really catered to UK Apple TV users in the first few years of the Apple TV's life, offering a small selection of apps compared to our US counterparts, but now UK companies - and crucially the TV channels - have started to offer their own apps, so you can pretty much find everything you want to on the Apple TV.

Here, we take a look at some of the best apps for the Apple TV for UK users.

Best Apple TV apps

There are all sorts of categories of apps you might want to install on your Apple TV, from entertainment apps including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, to fitness apps and cooking apps, education focused apps and social media related apps. There are lots to choose from but a lot aren't all that good. The ones we list below are the best Apple TV apps we've found on the Apple TV App Store.

Apple TV apps

Best entertainment apps

YouTube

This is is must. You don’t have to pay a subscription and you can get access to just about anything you could want to watch. Sure there’s some questionable content, and we do wonder whether the kids will turn out fluent in Korean based on the amount of Korean content they are consuming, but there’s usually something interesting to watch. Would be nice to see the Kids YouTube app though.

Netflix

Another one that is obviously essential if you have a subscription - and these days who doesn’t? You’ll find all the shows everyone else is watching and because it works with Apple’s TV app, you can search for a show there and it will let you know whether it’s available in Netflix or another app. Subscribe here.

Prime Video

This is one to install immediately if you have an Amazon Prime subscription - which would give you access to loads of really good TV shows and films, as well as the free, next-day delivery service. What’s not to like? Subscribe here.

All 4

If you are in the UK you’ll be pleased to learn that All 4 is now available on Apple TV - which means you can now get all the On Demand channels for TV in the UK (bar UKTV itself - which is where you’d find Dave). It was a long time coming, arriving in December 2018. This means shows like Catastrophe and hundreds of box sets including Skins, Shameless and Teacher, will be available via the app (and can also be accessed from inside Apple’s TV app).

iPlayer

Also predominantly for our UK readers, the iPlayer app gives you access to all the BBC content, including Ceebeebies for those with young children. You will have to sign in on your iPhone or computer in order for the app to work - that’s because the BBC is checking your location. (If you are outside the UK and want to watch iPlayer read this).

Apple TV apps

My5

Another UK app for OnDemand TV, home to Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and various other kids TV shows as well as Home and Away and Neighbours.

ITV Hub

If you are in the UK and you want to watch ITV programmes like Love Island and The Only Way Is Essex then it’s one to install.

BT Sport

If you are a BT Sport subscriber you can watch events, including Premier League football, via your Apple TV. BT Sport costs £9 per month in addition to a BT Broadband subscription and some EE customers can also get access to the service too. Sign up here.

TV Player

Chances are your Apple TV is plugged into a TV and therefore you can watch live telly, but if you are using a TV that lacks an aerial you may be wondering if there is a way to watch television while it's being broadcast. Enter TVPlayer: TVPlayer is an app for the Apple TV that enables access to a number of freeview channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as a premium option that’ll unlock extra channels including Eurosport. The app itself is pretty simple to use, though the streaming quality can greatly vary from time to time, ranging from crisp to so blurry you’d think you’ve forgotten to put your glasses on. But hey, who’s complaining when it’s a free app?

Plex

Plex for Apple TV allows users to store videos, music and photos on their computer or a NAS drive, then using the Plex’s free server software, transcode and stream those files to the Plex app. The end result is having your complete movie library available to you at the touch of a button, no need to burn a DVD or AirPlay from your iPad – functionality that avid users of Plex have been patiently waiting for, for years.

The company claims that its Apple TV app is one of its most feature-rich, including support for playlists, channels and in-app search. One of the key features of the Apple TV is its universal search that searches both official Apple channels and third-party apps. Unfortunately, the API hasn’t been released for all developers just yet, but once it does, you may see videos from Plex appear in your results.

Disney Life 

The Disney Life app will give you tons of Disney content for a £4.99 a month subscription, there is a free one-week trial. You’ll find all the Disney films, shorts and TV shows in an easy to use interface.

Now TV

Another UK service, Now TV bundles various offerings from Sky into an app. You can subscribe to the movies (£9.99/m), TV shows (£7.99/m) or Kids (£3.99/m). Subscribe to Now TV here.

Hopster

Full of content Geared to kids, Hopster costs £4.99 a month and includes games, shows, musis and books for children. You’ll find Fireman Sam, The Grufalo, Octonauts and Tomas and Friends. There is even some content that can be watched without subscribing (including an episode of In the Night Garden and one of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom).

VLC For Mobile

You might already be familiar with VLC as the media player that lets you play any kind of multimedia file on your Mac. Well now you can use it on your Apple TV (and your iOS device) too. Via the app you can play any kind of media file accessed via your network.

VLC App Apple TV

Hayu

If watching the Kardascians isn’t the worst thing you can imagine doing with your evening, then you could try out the Hayu app, which has about every reality TV show you can imagine. It’s £4.99 a month to watch over 200 reality TV shows from the US.

Best education apps

TED

The TED app is worth a look, with presentations about all sorts of interesting things. There are categories for Business, Science, Psychology, Technology, Health and Politics amongst others. Talks are around 15 minutes long generally and when you find one that interests you, you’ll find links to similar talks below.

Masterclass

This app which costs £170 a year if you want access to everything, or around £85 a go if you just want to partake of a single class. These classes are taught by people who are famous in their fields: you can be taught filmmaking by Jodie Foster, now to write a story by Neil Gaiman, Gordon Ramsey will teach cooking, and Annie Leibovitz will teach you photography, for example. Classes are made up of a number of lessons that list a few hours.

Udemy

There are 80,000 video training courses in the Udemy app. You can learn everything from accounting and criminal psychology, to how to become a best selling author or play the guitar, and to latin or web design. Prices range from $19.99 to $199.99.

Linda.com

Training courses are also available from Linda.com but the great thing about this Apple TV app is there is lots of free content available in the form of tips which are updated weekly.

iBooks Story Time

Here are some interactive, read-along books, most are priced at £6.99, but you can find Finding Dory for £3.99.

Finding Dory Book

Earthlapse

Earthlapse offers something unique to new Apple TV users; the ability to stare out of a virtual view from the International Space Station, looking at our big blue planet. The app is created by Jetson Creative, the guys behind the Magic Window app for iOS and Mac, and displays a range of beautifully crisp videos (18 in total) of the Earth along with a caption in the top left hand corner that informs you of what/where you’re looking at, and the time and date in the top right hand corner. The source videos aren’t great quality, so the team instead pulls the raw images from the NASA feed and re-builds them in a much higher resolution using Apple’s Metal API to render the images, allowing you to change the speed and colour effects on the fly.

These images are similar to Apple’s own aerial screen savers, but with one difference; Earthlapse have sound, and users are able to choose from eight different soundtracks.

Best cooking and recipie apps

Kitchen Stories

These are short recipes that might inspire you when you are wondering what to cook for dinner. Some videos are wide screen, some square (potentially because they are filmed for social media) but they are rarely longer than a minute or two. It’s easy to search for chicken or salmon and get recipe ideas.

The Cooking Channel

If you love cooking shows there are loads to watch here.

Cooking shows Apple TV

The Food Channel

More short recipes to watch.

Best health and fitness apps

Calm

This is primarily a meditation app, but we tend to use it more as a screensaver since there are some lovely scenes you can choose from such as a sunset beach, rain on leaves, wind in the pines, and so on.

Calm app Apple TV

Simply Yoga Fitness Trainer

Where most of the fitness apps on the Apple TV require a subscription, this one is free. It’s basic but, well, it’s free so what do you expect.

Streaks Workout

This app costs £3.99 and is essentially a personal trainer. You perform various exercises (which can be customised) and you can record streaks and see your progress.

Streaks Workout is a great app for those of us that want to improve our general health and fitness, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a monthly gym membership. The idea is very simple, choose from a range of exercises that work your various muscle groups – legs, arms, chest, abs, etc – and complete a workout each day.

There are options available for each workout to increase its intensity, all based on your ability and how much time you have – these options are easily tweaked before the workout is started. The app stores your workout statistics and lets you easily track and view the data, which should help keep you motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Zova Yoga Workout

Zova isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re into Yoga, you’ll be pretty interested. The app is free to download, and allows you to browse through a number of Yoga workouts, all curated by health and fitness experts. You can see the time it takes and the number of calories you’ll burn at a glance, and the step-by-step videos will take you through every element of the workout.

Though don’t get your hopes up too quickly – the app may be free, but only a handful of tutorials are free to watch. The majority of its vast library is paid-for, and you’ll have to part with your cash before Yoga-ing to the max. But hey, if it’s something you enjoy, a couple of pounds won’t matter too much right?

Best social media and news apps

Twitter

Rather than access to your Twitter account this app provides a link to content that can be found on Twitter, from funny videos, to political news, technology, music and entertainment. It’s quite good for watching Tasty videos if you are into cooking and Today On Twitter lets you see what everyone else is watching.

Facebook Watch

This is a little like the Twitter Apple TV app in that it is a place to watch video content that’s being shared via Facebook rather than anything being shared by your friends.

GIFtv Endless GIF Reel

From incredibly detailed photos of our planet, to GIFs of cats doing funny things. Yes, fans of GIFs should download GIFtv. The idea of the app is to display a random GIF for seven seconds, before moving onto the next one, in a never ending reel of (mostly) hilarious GIFs. The more astute of you will note that GIFs don’t feature audio, and so it’ll be a pretty quiet app – and while you are right, the app features background music streamed from iTunes Radio so you’re not in tears of laugher in complete silence. Admittedly, there isn’t much else to the app, but if you need a chuckle or just want something on the TV in the background, this is a good (and free) choice.

Albums for Facebook on your TV

The names a bit of a mouthful but if you want to be able to view your Facebook photo albums on your TV then this is quite a good way of doing so. You can set it to play slideshows of your photo uploads and albums. It can take a while to download content.

Best lifestyle apps

Smule Sing! Karaoke

New research has found that singing with a friend or partner will help you bond with them quicker, due to the release of exercise-like endorphins while singing. Enter Sing! Karaoke by Smule, an app for the Apple TV that aims to turn it into a fully blown karaoke machine – perfect for those boozy nights in with your friends.

Users have the choice of either having a duet with someone in their front room, or someone from around the world, although the editor of Macworld UK points out that there is no way to have a sing-song by yourself, which may be off-putting for some people.

However if it doesn’t bother you, you’re able to download the Sing! App on your iPhone to turn it into a microphone, with the ability to use two phones/microphones simultaneously. Your friends will also be able to personalise the music queue while you’re belting out your best Whitney impression, keeping the activity flowing.

CARROT Weather

CARROT is a weather app for the Apple TV (and iOS) with a slight difference; it has added sass. CARROT is a comprehensive weather app that can display accurate, detailed data and weather maps with additional sarcastic (and sometimes a little weird) comments.

The app displays current weather related information like humidity, temperature and air pressure alongside a short-term forecast that displays the outlook for the next 18 hours. You can search for different locations and as you use the app, you’ll unlock made up locations like Mount Doom or the Wyoming Badlands during the times of the dinosaur.

However, with all that being said, there are a few key features missing from the Apple TV app that are present in its iOS counterpart. These features include the time machine that lets you look up the weather up to 70 years in the past, as well as 10 years in the future, along with the radar map – something that’d look pretty cool on a TV.

Also it’s worth mentioning that even if you’ve paid for CARROT weather for iOS, you’ll have to pay £2.49 again for the Apple TV app.

Earthlapse

Earthlapse offers something unique to new Apple TV users; the ability to stare out of a virtual view from the International Space Station, looking at our big blue planet. The app is created by Jetson Creative, the guys behind the Magic Window app for iOS and Mac, and displays a range of beautifully crisp videos (18 in total) of the Earth along with a caption in the top left hand corner that informs you of what/where you’re looking at, and the time and date in the top right hand corner.

The source videos aren’t great quality, so the team instead pulls the raw images from the NASA feed and re-builds them in a much higher resolution using Apple’s Metal API to render the images, allowing you to change the speed and colour effects on the fly.

These images are similar to Apple’s own aerial screen savers, but with one difference; Earthlapse have sound, and users are able to choose from eight different soundtracks.

If it's games you want we have a separate article that looks at the best games for Apple TV here.

Source : https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/best-apple-tv-apps-3612633/

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